When a Muslim sees racism or abuse, they have an obligation to stop the oppression. The credo of Muslims includes standing up for all people who are oppressed – this includes Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, and anti-Indigenous racism.

Recognize your own positional power and think ‘When is the best time to speak with my colleague or professor?’ If this is a general conversation in class, then you have every right to speak up at that time. If it’s part of a presentation, then perhaps waiting to the Q&A session would be better. If you don’t have a position of power or you are concerned that your arguments will fall on deaf ears, then speaking with your teacher after class would be best – and, sometimes, it falls to the professor to deal with the issue rather than the student. Let them know that you have been harmed and you need the misinformation to be rectified and for the ground rules of classroom discussion to be revisited. If this does not go over well, consider consulting with the ombudsman of your university or college to intervene. If this is a workplace situation, then consider speaking your HR representative. At school, speak with your guidance counsellor or vice-principal.

Finally, it is essential to reflect upon the Muslim method of confronting the wrong. Do not debase or disrespect your colleagues or professor. Remember that you are trying to correct them and teach them – not ‘put them in their place.’

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